By Elizabeth Norris
Publication date: April 24, 2012
Balzer + Bray, 445 pages
Two days before the start of her junior year, seventeen-year-old Janelle Tenner is hit by a pickup truck and killed—as in blinding light, scenes of her life flashing before her, and then nothing. Except the next thing she knows, she’s opening her eyes to find Ben Michaels, a loner from her high school whom Janelle has never talked to, leaning over her. And even though it isn’t possible, she knows—with every fiber of her being—that Ben has somehow brought her back to life.
But her revival, and Ben’s possible role in it, is only the first of the puzzles that Janelle must solve. While snooping in her FBI agent father’s files for clues about her accident, she uncovers a clock that seems to be counting down to something—but to what? And when someone close to Janelle is killed, she can no longer deny what’s right in front of her: Everything that’s happened—the accident, the murder, the countdown clock, Ben’s sudden appearance in her life—points to the end of life as she knows it. And as the clock ticks down, she realizes that if she wants to put a stop to the end of the world, she’s going to need to uncover Ben’s secrets—and keep from falling in love with him in the process.
From debut author Elizabeth Norris comes this shattering novel of one girl’s fight to save herself, her world, and the boy she never saw coming.
— Goodreads.com description
I’m a little torn on how I feel about Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris. Let me explain why…
On the pro side:
- Janelle is pretty darn tough, a quality I love in a main character.
- FORBIDDEN LOVE.
- Ben was very cute and vulnerable.
- Sci-fi action meets apocalypse time. BOOM!
But, as much as I loved reading a thrilling sci-fi read, I thought Unraveling was simply too far-fetched. Sure, sci-fi is out there, but I found myself going “Um, okay?” during the explanation paragraphs and sort of, gulp, skipping over them. Bad reader, I know, but I just couldn’t follow!
Plus, Janelle was super involved in her father’s work as an FBI agent. Really? Would FBI agents really leave their case files out and discuss ongoing initiatives with one of their co-workers teenage daughters? Just…not likely to me.
Also, the first half of the book reminded me of Roswell, which is my favorite show ever, so that’s a good thing, but…it was just so damn similar, I couldn’t shake a feeling like, “Yes, I’ve seen this before.”
Still, if you are a fan of the boy saves girl/they can’t be together/ahh the world is ending type story, the pros will likely outweigh the cons.